The verdict is in (well, my two cents any who). 

The Superbowl game itself, was awesome (what UP Seattle!). The ads, unfortunately, were not. Maybe my expectations were too high: we've been spoiled in the past. The 1984 Apple adThis Darth Vader VW spot. That Oreo tweet

Except for Sonos. For me, Sonos nailed it. Amidst ads that confused us (Scientology: Spiritual Technology), emotionally manipulated us (Budweiser #Salute a Hero), one that seemed too good to be true (win $1.5 million by tweeting?), and someone tweeting with mittens on, Sonos' ad was everything that the rest of the "brand bowl" was not.


Here's why:

Sonos' strategy didn't hinge on something 'happening.' After Oreo's swift social response to last year's black out (& the subsequent creation of the 'real time marketing' hysteria), there will have been dozens (hundreds?) of brands huddled in 'war rooms' on both coasts, waiting for 'the incident' - nip slip, black out, you name it. All that Sonos needed was a TV spot, a DJ with a healthy Twitter following, and tons of people who love music & would be watching the Superbowl. What they did was simple - create a live soundtrack to accompany the game which fans could follow using #SonosPlayByPlay. It was refreshing to see a brand actually paying attention to what was going on on the field - and then responding with awesome, epic tunes. 

Sonos didn't rely on Twitter buzz, but they did use it - along with traditional media. Super Bowl ads get eyeballs. Lots of eyeballs. But Sonos used TV for what I think it does best - achieve mass reach - and get folks to tune in to other channels they already had out, turned on, & in their homes - their mobiles, their speakers, and their Spotify accounts. Sonos played smart. Sonos enlisted Scott Vener, music guy behind 'Entourage', to 'DJ' the Super Bowl, creating a play by play (literally) soundtrack to the game along with live commentating, highlighting the best and most dramatic moments of the Super Bowl.

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The campaign brought Sonos' key product benefit to life: music makes life better. "In 2002," Sonos blog declares, "we set out with a goal - to reinvent audio for the digital age." Not only did they showcase the beauty of the Sonos system - but they showed us in the way that was right for the medium. TV was the perfect place to show just how darn cool the Sonos is in action. Twitter was the perfect place to harness the waves of emotion rippling through the twitterverse as the Seahawks spanked the Broncos. By associating well known songs (as well as some new ones & some epic remixes), Sonos did more than give viewers a new item for their wishlist - it enhanced the experience they were already there for.

In a Super Bowl that seemed chock full of hashtags (for hashtags sake?) & bro-ish beer spots, Sonos' plan was elegant, thoughtful, & really made me want to buy a Sonos. Isn't that why we run ads, after all?